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  • Evening Star

    There was, as in the fairy tales,
    As ne’er in the time’s raid,
    There was, of famous royal blood
    A most beautiful maid.

    She was her parents’ only child,
    Bright like the sun at noon,
    Like the Virgin midst the saints
    And among stars the moon.

    From the deep shadow of the vaults
    Her step now she directs
    Toward a window; at its nook
    Bright Evening-star expects.

    She looks as in the distant seas
    He rises, darts his rays
    And leads the blackish, loaded ships
    On the wet, moving, ways.

    To look at him every night
    Her soul her instincts spur;
    And as he looks at her for weeks
    He falls in love with her.

    And as on her elbows she leans
    Her temple and her whim
    She feels in her heart and soul that
    She falls in love with him.

    And ev’ry night his stormy flames
    More stormily renew
    When in the shadow of the castle
    She shows to his bright view.

        *

    And to her room with her slow steps
    He bears his steps and aims
    Weaving out of his sparkles cold
    A toil of shaking flames.

    And when she throws upon her bed
    Her tired limbs and reposes,
    He glides his light along her hands
    And her sweet eyelash closes.

    And from the mirror on her shape
    A beam has spread and burns,
    On her big eyes that beat though closed
    And on her face that turns.

    Her smiles view him; the mirror shows
    Him trembling in the nook
    For he is plunging in her dream
    So that their souls may hook.

    She speaks with him in sleep and sighs
    While her heart’s swelled veins drum:
    -“O sweet Lord of my fairy nights,
    Why comest thou not? Come!

    Descend to me, mild Evening-star
    Thou canst glide on a beam,
    Enter my dwelling and my mind
    And over my life gleam!”

    And he listens and trembles and
    Still more for her love craves
    And as quick as the lightning he
    Plunges into the waves.

    The water in that very spot
    Moves rolling many rings
    And out of the unknown, dark, depth
    A superb young man springs.

    As on a threshold o’er the sill
    His hasty steps he leads,
    Holds in his hand a staff with, at
    Its top, a crown of reeds!

    A young Voivode he seems to be
    With soft and golden hair;
    A blue shroud binds in a knot on
    His naked shoulder fair.

    The shade of his face is of wax
    And thou canst see throughout –
    A handsome dead man with live eyes
    That throw their sparkles out.

    -“From my sphere hardly I come to
    Follow thy call and thee,
    The heaven is my father and
    My mother is the sea.

    So that I could come to thy room
    And look at thee from near
    With my light reborn from waves my
    Fate toward thee I steer.

    O come, my treasure wonderful
    And thy world leave aside;
    For I am Evening-star up from
    And thou wouldst be my bride.

    In my palace of coral I’ll
    Take thee for evermore
    And the entire world of the sea
    Will kneel before thy door.”

    -“O thou art beautiful as but
    In dreams an angel shows,
    The way though thou hast oped for me
    For me’s for ever close.

    Thy port and mien and speech are strange
    Life thy gleams don’t impart,
    For I’m alive and thou art dead
    And thy eyes chill my heart.”

        *

    Days have past since: but Evening-star
    Comes up againd and stays
    Just as before, spreading o’er her
    His clear, translucent rays.

    In sleep she would remember him
    And, as before, her whole
    Wish for the Master of the waves
    Is clinching now her soul.

    -“Descend to me, mild Evening-star
    Thou canst glide on a beam,
    Enter my dwelling and my mind
    And over my life gleam!”

    He hears: and from the dire despair
    Of such an woeful weird
    He dies, and the heavens revolve
    Where he has disappeared.

    Soon in the air flames ruddy spread,
    The world in their grip hold;
    A superb form the spasms of the
    Chaotic valleys mold.

    On his locks of black hair he bears
    His crown a fierce fire frames;
    He floats as he really comes
    Swimming in the sun’s flames.

    His black shroud lets develop out
    His arms marbly and hale;
    He pensively and sadly brings
    His face awfully pale.

    But his big wonderful eyes’ gleam,
    Chimerically deep,
    Shows two unsatiated spasms
    That but into dark peep.

    -“From my sphere hardly I come to
    Follow thy voice, thy sight;
    The bright sun is my father and
    My mother is the night.

    O come, my treasure wonderful
    And thy world leave aside
    For I am Evening-star from up
    And thou wouldst be my bride.

    O come, and upon thy blond hair
    Crowns of stars I shall crowd,
    And more that all of them, up there,
    Thou wild look fair and proud.”

    -“O thou art beautiful as but
    In dreams a demon shows,
    The way though hast oped for me
    For me’s for ever close.

    The depths of my breast ache from the
    Desire of thy fierce love
    My heavy, big eyes also ache
    When into them thine shove”.

    -“But how wouldst thou that I come down?
    Know this – for, do I lie? -:
    I am immortal, while thou art
    One of those that must die!”

    -“I hate big words, nor do I know
    How to begin my plea;
    And although thy discourse is clear
    I don’t understand thee.

    But if thou wantest my flamed love
    And that would not be sham,
    Come down on this temporal earth,
    Be mortal as I am!”

    -“I’d lose my immortality
    For but one kiss of thine!
    Well, I will show thee how much too
    For thy fierce love I pine!

    Yes, I shall be reborn from sin,
    Receive another creed:
    From that endlessness to which I
    Am tied, I shall be freed!”

    And out he went, he went, went out,
    Loving a human fay,
    He plucked himself off from the sky,
    Went for many a day.

        *

    Meanwhile, the house-boy, Catalin,
    Sly, and who often jests
    When he’s filling with wine the cups
    Of the banqueting guests;

    A page that carries step by step
    The trail of the Queen’s gown,
    A wandering bastard, but bold
    Like no one in the town;

    His little cheek – a peony
    That under the sun stews;
    Watchful, just like a thief, he sneaks
    In Catalina’s views.

    -“How beautiful she grew” – thinks he –
    “A flower just to pluck!
    Now, Catalin, but now it is
    Thy chance to try thy luck!”

    And by the way, hurriedly, he
    Corners that human fay:
    -“What’s with thee, Catalin? Let me
    Alone and go thy way!”

    -“No! I want thee to stay away
    From thoughts that have no fun
    . I want to see thee only laugh,
    Give me a kiss, just one!”

    -“I don’t know what it is about
    And, believe me, retire!
    But for one Evening-star up from
    I’ve kept my strong desire!”

    -“If thou dost not know I could show
    Thee all about love’s balm!
    Only, don’t give way to thy ire
    And listen and be calm.

    So as the hunter throws the net
    That many birds would harm,
    When I’ll stretch my left arm to thee,
    Enlace me with thy arm.

    Under my eyes keep thine and don’t
    Let them move on their wheels
    And if I lift thee by the waist
    Thou must lift on thy heels.

    When I bend down my face, to hold
    Thine up must be thy strife;
    So, to each other we could throw
    Sweet, eager, looks for life.

    And so that thou have about love
    A knowledge true and plain,
    When I stoop to kiss thee, thou must
    Kiss me too and again.”

    With much bewilderment her mind
    The little boy’s word fills,
    And shyly and nicely now she
    Wills not, and now she wills.

    And slowly she tells him:- “Since thy
    Childhood I’ve known thy wit,
    And as thou art and glib and small
    My temper thou wouldst fit.

    But Evening-star sprung from the calm
    Of the oblivion,
    Though, gives horizon limitless
    To the sea lone and dun.

    And secretly, I close my eyes
    For my eyelash tears dim
    When the waves of the sea go on
    Travelling toward him.

    He shines with love unspeakable
    So that my pains he’d leach,
    But higher and higher soars, so
    That his hand I’d ne’er reach.

    Sadly thrusts from the worlds which from
    My soul his cold ray bar…
    I shall love him for ever and
    For ever he’ll rove far.

    Like the unmeasured steppes my days
    Are deaf and wild, therefore,
    But my nights spread a holy charm
    I understand no more!”

    -“Thou art a child! Let’s go! Through new
    Lands our own fate let’s frame!
    Soon they shall have lost our trace and
    Forgot even our name!

    We shall be both wise, glad and whole
    As my judgement infers
    And thou wouldst not long for thy kin
    Nor yearn for Evening-stars!”

        *

    Then Evening-star went out. His wings
    Grow, into heavens dash,
    And on his way millenniums
    Flee in less than a flash.

    Below, a depth of stars; above,
    The heaven stars begem, –
    He seems an endless lightning that
    Is wandering through them.

    And from the Chaos’ vales he sees
    How in an immense ring
    Round him, as in the World’s first day,
    Lights from their sources spring;

    How, springing, they hem him like an
    Ocean that swimming nears…
    He flees carried by his desire
    Until he disappears.

    For that region is boundless and
    Searching regards avoids
    And Time strive vainly there to come
    To life from the dark voids.

    ‘Tis nought. ‘Tis, though, thirst that sips him
    And which he cannot shun,
    ‘Tis depth unknown, comparable
    To blind oblivion.

    -“From that dark, choking, endlessness
    Into which I am furled,
    Father, undo me, and for e’er
    Be praised in the whole world!

    Ask anything for this new fate
    For with mine I am through:
    O hear my prayer, O my Lord, for
    Thou gives life and death too.

    Take back my endlessness, the fires
    That my being devour
    And in return give me a chance
    To love but for an hour!

    I’ve come from Chaos; I’d return
    To that my former nest…
    And as I have been brought to life
    From rest, I crave for rest!”

    -“Hyperion, that comest from
    The depths with the world’s swarm,
    Do not ask signs and miracles
    That have no name nor form.

    Thou wantest to count among men,
    Take their resemblance vain;
    But would now the whole mankind die
    Men will be born again.

    But they are building on the wind
    Ideals void and blind;
    When human waves run into graves
    New waves spring from behind.

    Fate’s persecutions, lucky stars,
    They only are to own;
    Here we know neither time nor space,
    Death we have never known.

    From the eternal yesterday
    Drinks what to-day will drain
    And if a sun dies on the sky
    A sun quickens again.

    Risen as for ever, death though
    Follows them like a thorn
    For all are born only to die
    And die to be reborn.

    But thou remainest wheresoe’er
    Thou wouldst set down or flee.
    Thou art of the prime form and an
    Eternal prodigy.

    Thou wilt now hear the wondrous voice
    At whose bewitched singing
    Mounts woody get skipping to skies
    Into sea Island sinking!

    Perhaps thou wilt more: show in deeds
    Thy sense of justice, might,
    Out of the earth’s lumps make an empire
    And settle on its height!

    I can give thee millions of vessels
    And hosts; thou, bear thy breath
    O’er all the lands, o’er all the oceans:
    I cannot give thee death.

    For whom thou wantest then to die?
    Just go and see what’s worth
    All that is waiting there for thee
    On that wandering earth!”

        *

    His first dominion on the sky
    Hyperion restores
    And like in his first day, his light
    All o’er again he pours.

    For it is evening and the night
    Her duty never waives.
    Now the moon rises quietly
    And shaking from the waves,

    And upon the paths of the groves
    Her sparkles again drone…
    Under the row of linden-trees
    Two youths sit all alone.

    -“O darling, let my blessed ear feel
    How thy heart’s pulses beat,
    Under the ray of thy eyes clear
    And unspeakably sweet.

    With the charms of their cold light pierce
    My thought’s faery glades,
    Pour an eternal quietness
    On my passion’s dark shades.

    And there, above, remain to stop
    Thy woe’s violet stream,
    For thou art my first source of love
    And also my last dream!”

    Hyperion beholds how love
    Their eyes equally charms:
    Scarcely his arm touches her neck,
    She takes him in her arms.

    The silvery blooms spread their smells
    And their soft cascade strokes
    The tops of the heads of both youths
    With long and golden locks.

    And all bewitched by love, she lifts
    Her eyes toward the fires
    Of the witnessing Evening-star
    And trusts him her desires:

    -“Descend to me, mild Evening-star
    Thou canst glide on a beam,
    Enter my forest and my mind
    And o’er my good luck gleam!”

    As he did it once, into woods,
    On hills, his rays he urges,
    Guiding throughout so many wilds
    The gleaming, moving, surges.

    But he falls not as he did once
    From his height into swells:
    -“What matters thee, clod of dust, if
    ‘Tis me or some one else?

    You live in your sphere’s narrowness
    And luck rules over you –
    But in my steady world I feel
    Eternal, cold and true!”

     

    Translation source